How to Deal with Stress

1. Identify the Source

First look at external factors. Our lives should be filled with a balance of things that we ‘should’ do and things that we ‘want’ to do. When this balance is upset the result is stress, anxiety and often depression. So assess your current commitments and responsibilities and try to ensure that there is time for both things that you must do and things that you like to do.

Now look at internal factors. Internal sources of stress are often inaccurate and unhelpful thoughts including a tendency to overestimate disaster and underestimate our ability to cope with that disaster, a predisposition to negatively evaluated ourselves and to compare ourselves unfavourably to others and a difficult in saying ‘no’ to demands. Identify if you engage in one of these patterns of thinking and then try to create an alternative set of thoughts that is accurate, helpful and allows you to get your needs met.

2. Meditate

Meditation is increasingly being advocated by Clinical Psychologists and Counselling Psychologist as a way of helping to manage a range of mental health problems and symptoms including stress, anxiety, panic and depression. It allows you to step back and relate to your experiences in a different ways which frees your mind to think more calmly and clearly. A useful place to start is with the follow CD:

Meditation for Optimum Health: How to Use Mindfulness and Breathing to Heal Your Body and Refresh Your Mind by Andrew Well and John Kabat Zinn.

3. Relaxation training

Where meditation will help you to calm your mind, relaxation training will help you to calm your body. Clinical Psychologists and Counselling Psychologists usually suggest a relaxation programme called Progressive Muscular Relaxation as it teaches you to learn the difference between tension and relaxation in the body so allowing you to switch off one in favour of the other when needed.

4. Nurture Yourself

How you feel is influenced by what you do. So to reduce stress and anxiety and improve mood make sure that you are spending a proportion of each day looking after yourself, whether that is treating yourself to a nice meal and some down time or spending time engaging in an enjoyable hobby, the result should be a stress-free, happy version of you

Stress is a very common problem and as a result Clinical Psychologists and Counselling Psychologists work with it on a daily basis. They have found that talking therapies, in particular Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) are very effective in helping people to deal with stress. So if the above strategies do not resolve the problem contact our team at The Harley Psychology & Therapy Group for a therapy appointment.

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